Bios

CONTRIBUTORS’ BIOS:

MICHAEL CAROSONE is a writer, a poet, an adjunct professor, a librarian,
and an activist for gay rights, human rights, animal rights, and environmental
rights. He has published poems in Gay City Volume 1, Gay City Volume
2, Gay City Volume 3, and Avanti Popolo: Italian American Writers
Sail Beyond Columbus; essays in White Crane, Strangers to These
Shores, and various anthologies; and articles in Gay City News and The
Huffington Post. He was awarded the Editors’ Poetry Prize for his published
work in Gay City Volume 2. He has given readings and discussions,
and presented papers at conferences. Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts
degree and a Master of Arts degree in English, Master of Science degree
in Education, and a Master of Science degree in Library and Information
Sciences. He is pursuing his Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree in English
Education at Teachers College of Columbia University, and his dissertation
will focus on incorporating marginalized literatures and writers—
Queer and Italian American—into the English classroom, in grades K-12
and at the college level. Michael’s primary interest is studying, researching,
and writing about marginalized literatures, voices, and peoples. Born and
raised in Brooklyn, New York, he now lives in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood
of Manhattan, with his partner, Joseph LoGiudice. For more
information on Michael, please visit his Web site: michaelcarosone.com.

JOHN D’EMILIO, PH.D., is a pioneer in the developing field of gay and
lesbian studies. He is the author or editor of more than half a dozen
books, including Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a
Homosexual Minority in the United States; Intimate Matters: A History of
Sexuality in America (with Estelle Freedman); Lost Prophet: The Life and
Times of Bayard Rustin; and The World Turned: Essays on Gay History,
Politics, and Culture. D’Emilio has won fellowships from the Guggenheim
Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; was a finalist
for the National Book Award; and received the Brudner Prize from
Yale University for lifetime contributions to gay and lesbian studies. In
1973, while a graduate student, he helped found the Gay Academic Un171
ion, a national organization of faculty, graduate students, and independent
researchers. A former co-chair of the board of directors of the National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he was also the founding director of its Policy
Institute. Intimate Matters was quoted by Supreme Court Associate Justice
Anthony Kennedy in the 2003 Lawrence v. Texas case, the historic
decision that declared state sodomy statutes unconstitutional. When not
working, he watches old movies, solves sudoku puzzles, and searches for
New York style pizza in Chicago.

CHARLES DERRY, PH.D., was born of an Italian mother and an Irish father.
He is Professor Emeritus at Wright State University. The author of
several books of film and cultural criticism, including Dark Dreams 2.0: A
Psychological History of the Modern Horror Film and The Suspense
Thriller: Films in the Shadow of Alfred Hitchcock, Derry’s fiction and
criticism have appeared in The Gay and Lesbian Review, The Portland
Literary Review, The Harrington Gay Men’s Fiction Quarterly, The Chiron
Review, Writers’ Forum, and in the anthologies: Contra/Diction and
Reclaiming the Heartland: Lesbian and Gay Voices from the Midwest.
Derry’s cancer memoir “A Year Like Any Other” appeared in The Sun.
He was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for his fiction in The Chattahoochee
Review, and is also the screenwriter of several short films, including
Cerebral Accident, Joan Crawford Died for Your Sins, and The First
Great Lesson of My Life. He lives in Ohio, but also spends time in the
California desert. He is currently working on a multi-generational novel set
in Cleveland, Ohio, about the Sicilian immigrant experience.

GEORGE DE STEFANO is a New York-based writer, specializing in culture,
politics, and sexuality. He is the author of An Offer We Can’t Refuse: The
Mafia in the Mind of America (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), and a contributing
author to the collections Mafia Movies: A Reader (University of Toronto,
2011) and The Essential Sopranos Reader (University of Kentucky Presses,
2011). His writing on gay issues has appeared in The Advocate, The
Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide, and Gay City News. He writes features
and criticism for online and print publications, including music and
arts criticism for PopMatters and Rootsworld; book reviews for The New
York Journal of Books; and features, reviews, and op-eds for I-Italy and
The Italian American Review.

JOSEPH A. FEDERICO is a published author and editor. His first book,
Images of America: Galloway Township, was published in March of 2011.
He co-authored the project with his longtime boyfriend. Joseph runs a
freelance editorial services business, and is the editor-in-chief of a men’s
lifestyle magazine. He holds Italian family traditions close to his heart, and
wishes that every gay Italian American man could be as lucky as he is to
have such a supportive family.

JOSEPH A. LOGIUDICE, L.M.S.W., is a social worker, writer, and an educator.
He is the Senior Consultant of Reasonable Accommodations at the
New York City Human Resources Administration/Department of Social
Services, where he trains and consults on disability law, and determines
reasonable accommodations for clients. He is an adjunct lecturer of social
work at New York University’s (NYU) Silver School of Social Work and
Touro College’s Graduate School of Social Work, where he teaches
courses on social work policy. Joseph’s scholarly interests include the intersection
of disability and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and
Queer (LGBTQ) policies and practices, and he has presented on these
interests at various conferences. An essay he has written, “Achievement
Motivation of College Students with Disabilities: Implications for Policy
and Practice,” is being published in a textbook on social work policy and
practice. Joseph is a committee member on the Council on Social Work
Education’s Council on Disability and Persons with Disabilities. He is a
doctoral student at The City University of New York’s Graduate Center,
where he studies and researches issues ranging from the implementation
of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), mental health policy, and
gay men’s issues. Joseph received a Master of Social Work degree from
NYU’s Silver School of Social Work, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
from Columbia University. He aspires to become a life-long advocate
for those individuals without a “voice” by writing, presenting, and teaching
about their lives. He lives with his partner, Michael Carosone, in New
York City, and loves his New York City life—a place saturated with eccentric,
witty, and interesting people.

MICHAEL LUONGO is an adjunct professor at New York University, teaching
travel writing. He is a freelance journalist, editor, and photographer.
His travel writing and/or travel photographs have appeared in The New
York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Out
Traveler, The Gay and Lesbian Review, Gay City News, and The National
Italian-American Foundation’s Ambassador magazine, to name a few. He
is the author, editor, or co-editor of several travel books, including Gay
Tourism: Culture, Identity and Sex and Gay Travels in the Muslim
World. He also wrote a novel, The Voyeur, which was published by Alyson
Books in 2007. Previously, he developed and was editor of the Out in
the World imprint for gay and lesbian travel literature for Haworth Press.
Luongo has traveled to more than 80 countries and all seven continents,
with a geographic concentration in Latin America and the Middle East. He
has written extensively on culture, tourism, and human rights in the context
of war, focusing on Iraq and Afghanistan. He was the 2011 LGBT
Journalist of the Year for the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association,
winning the Sarah Pettit Memorial Award for Excellence in LGBT
Media. He was also the winner of the Grand Prize in Travel Journalism
Award. Other awards for his work have been given by the Society of Professional
Journalists, the Society of American Travel Writers, and the
American Society of Journalists and Authors. His photographs of Rome’s
World Pride were exhibited at the New York City LGBT Center. He
earned a bachelor’s degree in Communications, with a minor in English,
from Rutgers University, and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from
Rutgers University’s Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, with
a research concentration on tourism and gay urban spaces. His published
master’s thesis was on gay sex tourism in New York. Luongo lives in Manhattan.
He is Italian-American on his father’s side. For more information,
visit his Web sites: michaelluongo.com and gayguido.com.

DAVID MASELLO writes about art and culture for The New York Times,
Town & Country, House Beautiful, Fine Art Connoisseur, and many other
periodicals and Web sites. He has held senior editor positions at several
magazines, including Town & Country, Travel & Leisure, and Country
Living. Masello is also a widely published essayist and poet, with works
appearing regularly in literary journals and anthologies. He is the author of
two books of nonfiction about art and architecture, and has recently completed
a new play.

TOMMI AVICOLLI MECCA is a native of Philadelphia. He has been writing
ever since he was 10 years old, and produced plays that he and his young
friends staged in a neighbor’s yard. First published in the poetry pages of
his neighborhood weekly (the South Philly Review/Chronicle) in the late
60s, he went on to become an editor of the Philadelphia Gay News, and a
reporter for the SF Bay Times. His plays have been produced in Philadelphia,
New York, and San Francisco. His 1985 autobiographical work, Giving
Voice, was received with critical acclaim at Philadelphia’s Studio 5. His
later updating of that work, Italian.Queer.Dangerous, played to sold-out
performances and garnered rave reviews in San Francisco’s Jon Sims Center
in 2004. He is the author of Between Little Rock and a Hard Place. He
is the co-editor of Hey Paesan!: Writings by Lesbians and Gay Men of
Italian Descent; and Avanti Popolo: Sailing beyond Columbus; and the
editor of Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay
Liberation, He currently lives in San Francisco and writes a regular column
for the online publication Beyondchron.org.

JOE OPPEDISANO was born in upstate New York to a typical Italian American
family, raised Roman Catholic, and discovered at a very young age
that he was gay, which was a realization that clashed with every single thing
that he had been taught during his youth. He is a photographer who studied
art and fashion at the Fashion Institute of Technology of the State
University of New York, when he moved to New York City at the age of
17. He also studied art history for a year in Florence, Italy, where he was
given his first break when he was discovered by designer Romeo Gigli. He
worked as a fashion editor and stylist for various magazines, including:
Vogue, L’Uomo Vogue, W, WWD, and New York Times. At 30 years
old, he picked up a camera and shot his first billboard within the first six
months of his career as a photographer. He has published two photography
books of erotic male art, and his third book, j/o, will be available in
October of 2012.

FRANK ANTHONY POLITO is a New York City-based writer. His published
novels include: Band Fags! (InsightOut Book Club’s “Best Fiction”
for 2008), Drama Queers! (Lambda Literary Award, 2009), Remembering
Christmas (featuring the sequel to Band Fags!), and the young adult novel,
Lost in the ’90s. Frank holds an Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing
from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
from Wayne State University. He grew up in the Detroit suburb of Hazel
Park, and currently resides in Sunnyside, Queens, with his partner, Craig
Bentley. For more information, visit his Web site: frankanthony
polito.com.

FELICE PICANO is the author of twenty-five books of poetry, fiction,
memoir, nonfiction, and drama. His work is translated into many languages;
several titles were national and international bestsellers, and four
plays have been produced. He is considered a founder of modern gay literature,
along with the other members of the Violet Quill. Picano also began
and operated the SeaHorse Press and Gay Presses of New York for
fifteen years. His first novel was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award.
Since then he’s been nominated for and/or won dozens of literary awards,
including a Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award in 2009. His
most recent work includes: True Stories: Portraits from My Past, Contemporary
Gay Romance, and Twelve O’clock Tales. His fantasy novella,
Wonder City of the West, will be published in late 2012. Picano’s blog
appears on the HuffingtonPost.com. Recent stories, essays, and reviews
can be found at felicepicano.net.

MICHAEL SCHIAVI is Professor of English and Coordinator of English as
a Second Language at New York Institute of Technology’s Manhattan
Campus, where he has taught since 1998. He is the author of Celluloid
Activist: The Life and Times of Vito Russo (University of Wisconsin
Press), and his articles have appeared in such publications as Cinema
Journal, Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, and College Literature. He also
appears as Vito Russo’s biographer in the documentary Vito (HBO/Automat
Pictures, 2012).

DR. FRANK SPINELLI, M.D., F.A.C.P., is a board certified internist at
Chelsea Village Medical in Manhattan. He is an Associate Clinical Professor
at New York Medical College, and the author of Advocate Guide to
Gay Men’s Health and Wellness, which was published in 2008 by Alyson
Books. He contributes to The Huffington Post and appears monthly on
Sirius Radio’s Morning Jolt. In 2012, he was featured in two documentaries,
Positive Youth, and the Emmy nominated 30 Years from Here.

TONY TRIPOLI grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, and moved to Los Angeles
in 1989, to attend the acclaimed American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Immediately upon graduation, he put his incredibly prestigious and expensive
degree to use by moving to Japan to work for Tokyo Disneyland.
You can imagine how thrilled his Mom was. He followed that up with a
stint as a Chippendale (yeah, that’s right… the strippers), and, in a real
moment of pride, sang Cole Porter songs for the American Plumber’s Association,
on stage with a dozen toilets. He has played single-dimensional
gay guys on such hit TV shows as Fashion House with Bo Derek and
Morgan Fairchild, and Two and a Half Men with Charlie Sheen and Jon
Cryer. He also appeared on Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. Tony
writes hilarious one-liners for Joan Rivers, which she uses in her act, on
her reality show, and on Fashion Police. He was also a staff writer on Style
Network’s hit show, The Dish. For more information, visit his Web site: tonytripoli.com.

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